Hello folks, thanks for joining me again this week. Well, they're calling it a summer monsoon (I've never heard of a winter monsoon) here in the UK, there has been flooding in low lying areas, continuous rain, very reminiscent of my childhood in India when the newspapers reported a 'depression in the Bay of Bengal'. As a child I had a very literal imagination, and I thought millions of people were sad and crying in the Bay of Bengal for some reason, and the rain was their tears falling upon us. Just now, I can certainly tell you that I am very depressed and fed up in Warwickshire, although the garden doesn't seem to mind it at all and is smiling away.
I love the photograph in the 'ad' above - I took the picture and turned it into an ad for my show at Warwickshire Open Studios using an app called Canva. I told Danielle that she looked like 'The Lady of Shalott' from the poem by Tennyson. We read it at school, and it is such a romantic poem about this lady who is cursed to never look out of her window. She spends her life in a turreted castle weaving tapestry, using scenes of the world outside from reflections in her mirror. One morning she sees this beautiful man ride by in said mirror and cannot resist it. She takes a direct look at the fair Lancelot who is generally thought to be one of the most handsome men in literature, and 'the mirror crack'd from side to side' - she meekly went and lay down in a little boat and died while floating down the river. I think I might have fought death a bit in her place, and a bit of screaming, kicking and biting might have happened, but hey! that wouldn't have been quite so romantic. If you haven't read it, I commend it to you, and here's a link.
I must have been in a very romantic mood (see above) in the last few weeks, although Mike hasn't seen too much benefit from it. A Ghazal is a poem set to music in Urdu or Arabic originating in Persia. Once religious, they are now mainly romantic, and speak of unrequited or unfulfilled love. There are some really beautiful Ghazals I learned while growing up and I so wish I had a better singing voice.
I found this pendant online in a shop based in Lahore, Pakistan - it originated in Afghanistan. I've made necklaces with such pendants before, but usually use lapis or coral to give it an earthy, folksy look. This time I used titanium coated quartz nuggets and lost wax cast beads from Africa to add a bit of dull gold to the mix.
I love the way it came out. I can see a woman in this necklace, wearing loose skirts, drying her long hair, humming a ghazal as she adorns herself with jasmine and perfume while she waits for her lover - unfortunately, the lover is probably married and she is wasting her time waiting for him as he's gonna go straight back to wifie. But who are we to burst her bubble? Let her dream awhile yet!
Spirit of the Sea
I made this clasp from copper clay in my kiln a while ago, but I don't think it made it to the blog as I hadn't polished it to my satisfaction. I spent an entire evening shining it up recently and put it with a string of raw blue quartz nuggets and freshwater pearls. The clasp is meant to be worn to one side, but can be worn so that it acts as a pendant.
Have I used shades of blue all week because the weather is so lousy?? Who knows? Either way, I'm very happy with both pieces. Do you like them?
That's my lot for this week, folks, have a wonderful time and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you this cloudy, rainy morning? Of course, it may not be raining where you are, but here cats and dogs are falling from the skies with sickening regularity. At least the gardens are looking green and lush as there is no shortage of water.
I've been away from home for a lot of the week, so had to make what time I had productive. At the weekend, I had a client from London come up to spend a couple of days with us. Caprilicious has brought many interesting and fun people into my orbit, and this girl is certainly in that category. We've met up a few times in London, and she came up to me, bringing beads to be strung and many changes of clothes so that we could do a little photoshoot. She looks so fabulous in so many of these pictures, I am sure to be using them for a while yet. It surprises me that she has never done any modelling before as she took to it like a duck to water, posing away for the camera willingly, changing clothes and lipstick colour ever so often, uncomplainingly and to great effect.
I've been making beads using an ultralight form of polymer clay and salting away simple necklaces made with these beads - the necklaces are bright, pretty and light, and have the usual asymmetrical Caprilicious vibe.
There will be a couple more of them made by the end of the week so that there is a fair sized stash of simple, inexpensive pieces on show, as well as the more complex ones.
The Oil Slick Necklace
This necklace has caught the imagination of a number of my customers and a lady who lives in Texas commissioned one for herself. She wanted the beads to be larger, the necklace to be longer and for the spacers to be of a particular type and I was happy to oblige. As the necklace was already designed, it was an easy matter to string the beads to her specification.
I also made a couple more necklaces for her at her request. She likes her necklaces long, with a medallion like pendant and she had three necklaces made and shipped out to Texas, along with a few others that I have been reserving for her over the last couple of months.
Named for the Hamsa or Hand of Fatima/Maryam pendant hung on a necklace of citrine nuggets.
Queen of the Night
The large amulet came from Afghanistan via Lahore and is strung with coral chunks and golden obsidian beads. The obsidian is really beautiful - at first sight it looks like just another black bead, but when one gets closer, it appears as if a golden liquid is suspended within.
That's as much as I had time for this week, folks. I am working all weekend and hopefully it is a quiet time at the coalface. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello good people, how are you? Mike and I have just got back from a short trip to Amsterdam. We've been before, but we had tickets to go to a concert in Leidschendam den Haag by one of our favourite jazz singers, Laura Fygi, and we thought it would be rude to come straight back home. We spent a couple of days wandering around Amsterdam, strolling around aimlessly taking in the sights, eating and drinking much more than we should have and generally having a great old time.
We started as we meant to go on, by taking a Tesla limo from Schipol to Leidschendam which is about 45 minutes from the airport. The concert was as fabulous as we had expected and Laura sang from 830 pm to around 11pm with only a short break. Her voice was as fluid and melodious as on her CDs and the music washed over us in waves. She did a 'meet and greet' after the show and I gave her a necklace from my collection - I do so love her music and wanted to show my appreciation in a small, but tangible way. We spent the night at the hotel, and took a taxi back in to Amsterdam the next morning.
We stayed in Dam Square in The Grand Cafe Krasnapolsky and everyone around us seemed to be a Russian oligarch. The ladies, in particular walked about in designer clothes with large shopping bags from De Bijenkorf carrying yet more designer goods, talking fast and gesticulating wildly with their manicured talons and jangling bracelets. It was so much fun just sitting and watching them, I almost didn't want to leave, I enjoyed the people watching so much. Mike wanted to go and see a bit of the countryside, so he prised me out of the hotel onto a trip out to Volendam and a cheese factory, stopping off at Zaanse Schans where they have a working windmill and ending via ferry at a clog factory in Maarkan. I'd been on this tour about 30 years ago but it seemed like a nice thing to do again - not much has changed since!
We aren't really museum buffs, but went to the Rijksmuseum to see the Rembrandts they had there - the Nightwatch being the most famous one. I would have preferred the Van Gogh museum, but they only allow in limited numbers of people and one had to book online - unfortunately by the time we decided to go, it was fully booked up.
The Rijksmuseum has three dolls' houses that provide a detailed view of how affluent houses were once furnished. The most famous was collected by the wealthy Petronella Oortman of Amsterdam. In the 17th century, dolls' houses were not toys; they were a hobby, the equivalent for women of the collection cabinets kept by men.
All the pieces were made precisely to scale, in the same way and using the same materials as their regular counterparts. Petronella ordered her miniature porcelain from China and commissioned cabinetmakers, glassblowers, silversmiths, basket-weavers and artists to furnish her dolls' house: an extremely expensive hobby. Her dolls' house apparently cost as much as an actual house on a canal!
I prefer casual art installations like the one on this canal.
There was lots more people watching, eating chips and mayonnaise from the 'Chipsy King', stroopwaffels which are like biscuits sandwiched around a layer of caramel sauce and general loafing about, which was quite enjoyable. We spent our evenings in the Red Light District which is not at all as sleazy as it sounds, notwithstanding the peep shows, prostitution and coffee shops that abound. I felt that if I needed to, I could have sat alone at a cafe and not been accosted by anyone. My theory is that when sex and drugs are freely available, people who want these pleasures are so busy seeking them out that nobody cares about the other people, men, women and tourists in the area. It has a very cool vibe and people are very friendly - it is also open till very late at night, with live music and bars full of tourists, so is a very vibrant place to be in.
And now we're back home, the cat is happy to have us back, and I go to work next week. I have a couple of days off to relax and clear out suitcases, and do all the tedious things one has to do when one gets back from a holiday.
Have a fabulous week, folks and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you today? I've loved the sunshine we've had and have spent a lot of time outdoors, digging the garden and pulling up weeds. It is now beginning to look fit for purpose and I can relax. The red hot poker is the first flower to come out every year in late spring/ early summer, and the first one is out, with loads of buds yet to bloom. When it is lovely and sunny, I seem to always make a floral necklace and the colours I use are bright and cheerful - I don't choose this path, it chooses me!
I would love to make beautiful abstract geometric shapes, I really admire jewellery makers who can do this and glorify negative space, but what comes out of my hands? Flowers!!
Never mind, at least flowers are pretty and everyone loves them, not just me.
The early part of the week was a bit cold and damp, and this is the piece of jewellery I was inspired to produce. I made my first ever wire Tree of Life anchored around a slab of agate druzy that has been electroplated with titanium. I had recently taken delivery of quartz nuggets, also plated with titanium and they seemed to fit together beautifully. When I finished the 'tree' it reminded me of mangrove trees growing in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
Mangrove swamps are found in tropical tidal areas including estuaries and marine shorelines. High tide brings in salt water, and when the tide recedes, evaporation of the seawater in the soil leads to increases in salinity.
At low tide, the roots are alternately exposed to increases in temperature and drying out from the sun, and cooling and flooding by the tide. For a plant to survive in this environment, it must tolerate broad ranges of salinity, temperature, and moisture, and only a few species have evolved ecologically to make up the mangrove tree community. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis. The massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy, and they slow down tidal water enough so its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide recedes.
And then the weather picked up, the sun came out to play and all was well with the world - followed closely by the flowers that came out of my imagination!
I wrapped flowers made of bright colour enhanced jade beads on a branch of tiny leaves that I had coated with cold enamel ages ago. Jade flowers and leaves of Czech glass were wrapped on this frame and hung on a necklace of lapis lazuli rough nuggets with yet more dyed jade. The flowers and berries are luscious and I added a tassel to give the piece a playful look. The necklace is pretty close to the neck, so that the pendant dangles over the decolletage - this necklace is probably best suited to a simple dress with a close neckline.
I bought a new iPhone and the camera is quite fabulous. I've been using the camera to take pictures in portrait mode and it works on selfies too.
I've mentioned that I will be at the Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa from the 27th to the 30th of June and I made some beads to display there at an event called Warwickshire Open Studios. I made the beads up into necklaces and wore them to work - here are some pictures taken using my new iPhone XR
I made some more beads in scarlet and gold, they're yet to be finished and strung. Next week, perhaps.
Don't they look almost edible? Like apples, or even ripe tomatoes, perhaps?
That's all I had time for, people. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
G'day, people, how are you this fine morning. OMG what a fabulous week it has been - it was criminal that I had to work through it and missed most of the rays, but I did catch the tail end of each day and that just had to do. Ah well, I made my own sunshine - some that is pretty portable and is guaranteed through the year.
Bring Me Sunshine
Named after Willie Nelson's iconic song, these are one more pair in my little growing collection of Shibori earrings. I love the colour of the silk with a pale yellow hidden in the depths of the accordion pleats and a vibrant orange visible at first glance, the 'gemstones', the copper flowers, and the little diamante hoops are to die for. I saw them somewhere, and simply had to have them on your behalf.
The Bodhi tree is well known in Buddhist circles as the tree under which the Buddha meditated and gained Nirvana. These seeds are called Bodhi seeds in South East Asia and used to make malas and bracelets. However, they are not actually seeds of the Bodhi tree, which is a fig tree whose seeds are tiny inside the little fruit. Perhaps the Buddhists decided they didn't like real Bodhi seeds as they were too small to represent anything, so they picked the largest seed they could make into a mala and transferred the name to give it significance. That's just my theory - who knows the real reason.
A Moroccan amulet, gaily enamelled in blues, green and red and coral beads make this a very pretty mixed media piece, light and easy to wear.
I made Cara (1) out of slices of solar quartz, and the second one is also made from the same material, although it is dyed a fabulous blue. Teamed with freshwater pearls, it is very summery necklace.
I've been collecting these little potato nuggets for a while - aquamarine, peridot, green aventurine, amethyst, citrine and yellow jade which is a more opaque yellow than the citrine, little peacock pearls and tiny, shiny crystals. I have probably ended up with enough beads to make half a dozen of these necklaces, but it is quite exhausting, stringing seven strands of beads - tiring but fun, but not something I'd want to repeat in a hurry! The clasp is a mother of pearl flower and I've connected the strings of beads to it randomly so that they are all entwined, and can be worn all twisted into a rope, or loosely slung around the neck as in the first picture.
That's me for this week, folks. I'm working at the weekend and by the time I emerge from the dungeon the summer will be over (oh, no!!). It's a wonder that I haven't got a Vit D deficiency. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks how's tricks? I hope life is treating you well, wherever you are. I've begun the countdown to my little pre summer break and although it is still a little way away, I am now raring to go. In the meantime, I played with my beads as usual.
Moonshine is any kind of alcohol, usually whisky or rum, that is made in secret to avoid high taxes or outright bans on alcoholic drinks. The term "moonshine" comes from Britain, where it originally was a verb, "moonshining," that referred to any job or activity late at night.
Whisky is aged in casks until it becomes a clear amber liquid, but moonshine is cloudy because it is not clarified and is drunk as soon as it is distilled. Moonshiners distilled the stuff where there was a ban on alcohol and bootleggers sold it, while rum runners were smugglers who moved the alcohol around on boats. Did you know that moonshining was responsible for the start of car racing? Bootleggers in the 1930s, '40s and '50s took to driving cars packed with moonshine through the night to avoid local police. Their mechanical skills developed as they learned to drastically increase the horsepower of their vehicles to outrun the authorities and eventually these vehicles were used in motor car racing! There, another interesting but useless fact for you! And all because I named a necklace after a cloudy intoxicating liquid!
One of my long term clients was talking about a peach coloured dress she was going to wear at a wedding and wondered if i had any piece of jewellery that might go with it. I didn't, but it got me searching for beads (any excuse!) and I fell in love with a strand of moonstones, cut into what are called tyre or wheel shaped beads. The strand comes in three colours, in the usual white, a pale grey that resembles labradorite and peach. I bought a half strand as the stuff is eye wateringly expensive, and when it arrived, made this piece, adding a little cabochon of peach coloured druzy and loads of tiny vintage gold tone seed beads.
The baroque pearl came from Bangkok, where I bought a strand of these pearls, each one is about 1 cm long. I didn't have any peachy beads to hang the pendant so used more baroque pearls with tiny peach seed pearls in between. The clasp is pretty special, too.
Lucy's Bead Soup Necklace
Lucy sent me two bracelets of colourful gemstone chip beads and asked me to create 'something'. It took me ages and ages to actually put a necklace together - every time I made something else, I found little beads that could possibly go into a piece and popped them into a box. When the box was full, I rummaged in my stash of polymer clay beads and found a pendant, created long ago by following a tutorial from Iris Mishly that comes all the way from Israel.
I never told her I was sending it to her early on this week. I haven't heard from her and I'm hoping that it is because she's on holiday and not because she hates it and will never speak to me again for ruining her bracelets!
The Penannular Necklace
The word 'penannular' literally means a circle with a break in it, and the pendant I used is a penannular brooch or fibula from Morocco, enamelled in vibrant colours, I hung it on a necklace of oval lapis lazuli, each bead appears to be twisted on itself, they are really cut beautifully by the lapidary, whoever he/she was. I added tiny drum shaped coral beads to increase the colour quotient and three huge Nepalese beads that are beautifully textured.
The fibula had to be wired so that the pointy bit (that isn't terribly pointy anyway as it is probably meant for a shawl or as a hair ornament) sits at the top, tucked away into a bead cap.
Shiny Shibori Earrings
My inner magpie was very pleased with these. They are little inverted triangles filled with shiny clear crystals and little bows of pale green and pink Shibori ribbon. I edged it in a vibrant pink/purple as it was little too pale for my liking - I'm afraid I don't agree with the phrase 'pale and interesting'.
That's me for this week folks, I haven't anything else to show you. I hope you've enjoyed your read and will come back for more.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Howdy folks, how are you today? I've been crazy busy this week due to a short sojourn in London at the beginning of the week - well, it was more work than fun, although I managed to get some of the latter in as well. I only got back home late on Tuesday evening and was back at work the next day.
I decided I was going to make something that would make use of my kiln, which has been lying idle for a while now through the winter. I broke out a packet of copper clay and gave myself a repetitive strain wrist injury from kneading it into a soft dough like consistency. Of course, when there have been long periods of time gone by between using metal clay - or any other technique for that matter, mistakes are made and boy, did I make them!
The first pendant I made had to be broken up and reconstituted into clay as it looked terrible when I dried it overnight. That didn't do the pain in my wrist any good but I pressed on and created a smaller pendant, which I thought looked pretty good, so I went ahead and embellished it with little flowers and leaves, and then popped it in the kiln.
Doesn't it look pretty? I thought so too. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the kiln after the first firing, the back had deep cracks in it. I should have gone ahead and put it back in the kiln in a carbon filled container, and filled in the cracks at the end of the second firing, but I decided to repair it straight away with wet clay - stupid, forgetful me. The leaf was still so fragile, it fell apart in my hands. I rescued the little CZ's and threw the rest away. I hadn't the heart to photograph it at the time, I was so depressed, as this has happened to me before and I should have known better than to make such a monumenta boo-boo. However, I was determined to make the blooming leaf, and so I cracked out some more clay and made another one. Third time lucky, as the saying goes, and so it was that I finally ended up with a finished piece on Wednesday. Phew!
It was polished and work hardened in a tumbler with steel shot and then patinated to bring out the veins, and other hand carved embellishments on the leaf. I am so thrilled that it is entirely hand made, from drawing and cutting out a paper template, to carving out the veins with a wood micro gouge and hand making the little flowers and leaves. A couple of copper clasps also came out of the kiln, but these were cut using cookie cutters and textured with a rubber stamp.
The patina was achieved by dipping the pieces alternately in hot liver of sulfur and ice cold water and although it cannot be seen quite as well as I would like in the picture, there is a deep coppery rainbow patina on the piece, very much like an oil slick on water.
I made a necklace with frosted amethyst beads, it was commissioned by a lovely lady for her friend. I shall be posting it out shortly and hope the friend likes it as much as I do.
The beads are in three different sizes and are striated amethyst, polished to a matte effect. I particularly love the little clasp that I found in one of the shops I buy a lot of beads from and I grabbed it before it was sold out as there was only one left. The clasp can be worn at the back, or to one side depending on how the mood takes her.
I spent time at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists while in London, and we were locked away from 8am to 5pm, which was really sad as Regent's Park beckoned from across the road on a couple of lovely, sunny days. I took a couple of pictures from the first floor windows - I think the wistfulness of my mood as I took the pictures is quite obvious!
However, I was there to work and that precluded sitting out in the beautiful sunshine. In the evenings however, it was another matter. I went out to dinner on two consecutive evenings, with two Caprilicious women, on both days in Covent Garden by coincidence. The first night was an interesting vegan meal at the Redemption bar, and the second provided a steak. I enjoyed meeting the ladies and chatted away till late at night - thanks to both of you, it was so much fun meeting you.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you? It has been a busy week for me, between Caprilicious and the day job. The weather outside is nice and warm - or it was until it pelted it down with rain this afternoon, accompanied by a thunder and lightning polka. I'm off to London at the weekend and unfortunately more showers are forecast.
I received four pendants from a vendor I use regularly. The pendants in the parcel were made by artisans from a community of Tibetan refugees, crafted mainly by the ladies. Oversized jewelry is often worn by the women of Tibet and Nepal. This jewelry, while beautiful is often rustic, and a close look reveals that this jewelry is made entirely by hand and is roughly crafted, making their wabi sabi quality very apparent.
Nepalese jewelry is made from brass, copper and silver and sometimes even gold. The stones used vary, with coral and turquoise being the most common. Other stones used are jade, carnelian, agate, amethyst, amber, garnet, and lapis lazuli as well as precious gemstones like rubies and sapphires.
Symbolism is important to the Nepalese. For instance turquoise represents the sea and the sky, making it symbolic of the infinite. Spiritual words or mantras in Sanskrit, and the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism are sometimes incorporated, and jewelry is meant to act as a constant reminder and reinforcement of Buddhist practice and thought.
Apart from its religious aspect, the jewels of Nepal are thought to have medicinal properties. Ghau boxes are an example of powerful jewelry. These “lockets” are worn as pendants, next to the heart. They are often encrusted with jewels and are used to carry a scroll with a prayer or a gem or herb sack to protect or heal the wearer.
The necklaces below were all purchased as they were made and are not available for sale. The lady who bought them likes colourful, large, statement jewellery, is a Buddhist and most importantly loves Caprilicious - a match made in heaven!! Only one of them made it to the website, the others all flew straight out of my hands.
Made with one of my favorite ghau boxes, the beads are electroplated lava stone. A similar Ghau was used in the necklace above, which now lives in India.
The rest didn't get named as they were picked up even before I finished them. I haven't made a necklace for my Eastern Promise page for a long time, so I decided to use all the pendants one after another. The challenge was to use different elements in each one so that they did not all end up looking alike.
I wrote about the Hamsa and what it represents before, and this stash contained a pendant which I made into a necklace with blue dyed coral teardrops and pyrite rough nuggets.
Here are the other three :-
It is quite difficult to work with a limited palette and make five necklaces that are different from one another, but hopefully, I have achieved it. It was hard to think of new ways of using the same elements over and over again, and I think I'd have struggled if I needed to make any more.
The Promise of Summer
Once I'd made the Nepalese pendants up, I took some time off but soon found that I couldn't sit in front of the TV without something to play with in my hands. I pulled out a couple of reels of wire and a butterfly came to life - the design inspiration for this piece is a Nicole Hanna tutorial. A necklace of rose quartz and seed pearls gives it a fresh and summery look.
In ancient Greek the word for butterfly is "Psyche", which translated means "soul". The butterfly has become a symbol with many meanings, but most commonly symbolizing rebirth, renewal, transformation and hope.
That's me for this week folks, I'm in London for work, for a couple of days next week. I'm due to meet up with a couple of Caprilicious ladies and am really looking forward to it. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place, same time,
Hello folks, how are you? I'm here today to tell you that a husband's man flu works wonders - for the wife! Last week I told you about my poor hubby, sniffling and sneezing away into a huge box of tissues - I gave him loads of TLC while he was awake, but my way of getting myself a load of spare time was to put him to bed, ably assisted by antihistamines, hot toddies and those stalwarts of the medicine cabinet, Day Nurse and Night Nurse! I received some fabulous components from one of my regular suppliers and made some jewellery immediately with them - in fact, the components are so beautiful, the necklaces designed themselves!
I also finished a couple of pieces I have been working on for a while, two of which are to go to the USA, to my friend who commissioned them.
I've been embroidering this piece for ages and only managed to put it together this week. I had intended it to be a three piece pendant, and made it up and took photographs of it, only to decide the next day that it would be better off with only two pieces. It just seemed too unwieldy and the bottom piece kept twisting on itself. So before I could change my mind, out came the scissors and Snip Snip - that was that!!
The beads used in between the turquoise are of Chrysanthemum stone, which I have wanted to buy for simply ages. Chrysanthemum stone or Flower stone is an ancient Chinese stone, approximately 270 million years old. It is a dark gray to black limestone matrix with andalusite crystals, taking on the appearance of a chrysanthemum. The black rock itself is a piece of limestone which is dark because of the presence of substantial amounts of organic carbon. This rock is from a time when many areas that today make up China were offshore or underwater plateaus.
The white pattern on the rock is formed of elongated crystals of celestine (or celestite), and when seen in larger stones is very pretty, although sometimes accentuated by hand carving and dyeing of the black matrix so it is darker.
The Chrysanthemum Stone is known for integrating change and harmony, and lending the knowledge of how the two work together to help one “bloom” and progress on the path to the perfect Self. It ameliorates negative mindsets and strengthens one’s character, while enhancing compatibility with others and the renewal of relationships. If you believe this, this is the necklace for you. If not, it is so pretty that it doesn't matter, it will still be loved by it's new owner.
My friend from California met me after many, many years and handed me some beads to 'do something with'. The first package was a necklace of tiny faceted pigeon blood rubies that she wanted restrung with a bit of zing put into the necklace, and the second was a broken necklace of what appear to be Czech glass beads and she wanted a pendant with a face for it. Here's what I came up with.
The rubies are only 2-3mm, with tiny holes, and they wouldn't take a beading wire. I had to thread them onto doubled up Fireline using a No 12 beading needle - anyone who beads will know how fine that is! Tying knots at the end was also tricky, but I finally managed it and covered the knots with a dab of glue for added security. I'd never live it down if anything untoward happened to that necklace.
And then I turned my attention to the other string of beads - I had a yak bone face somewhere in my stash, some Shibori ribbon in gentle colours to match her gentle personality, added a few shiny seed beads, made a pendant from it and strung it on the beaded necklace.
We've established that she likes both the pieces and we are now organising the best way for her jewellery to get to her in the USA.
Last week, I talked about the beautiful micro pave connectors I was keen to use, and use them I did. While Mike snored gently, under the influence of Day Nurse, I took the opportunity to finish these pieces.
I think I've done well this week - however the pieces have been made over a couple of weeks, between my work commitments ministering to the sick, and at home, doing exactly the same thing - no wonder I'm suffering from compassion fatigue!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous Easter break and a great week after, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you this week? I've been tending to my husband who has been struck down with the longest lasting, worst man flu in Christendom, or so it seems. But while he slumbers, medicated with antihistamines and other cold remedies, I have time to create, right? Yes, that's what I figured too! So I dosed him with meds at regular intervals and got on with it.
If you've read my blog on my return from Bangkok, you will know that I went to the Palladium mall there where I picked up a few things for Caprilicious. My sister in law was with me and she bargained the traders down until we got what we felt was a fair price - the process can be exhausting, because we have no clue how much an item actually costs - just a ballpark figure where one starts at just below half the asking price and works up. However, my sister in law is made of stern stuff, and she started at one third the asking price, which sometimes made me cringe, but everyone enjoyed the process and we came away happy with our purchases.
The Afghani pendant in this necklace was bought from a tiny shop in this rabbits warren of a mall, where we rummaged around in a great big knotted, balled up stash until we found something we liked. The pendant is teamed with vintage glass beads from Ghana, a Moroccan enamelled bead and a couple of polymer clay beads I made myself.
Rusticana is not a brightly coloured piece, but retains an air of rustic sophistication I like.
A brass stamping, imported from the USA is surrounded by a stylised wirework climbing rose in this pendant. I hung it on a necklace of chunky carnelian and a couple of copper beads, made in the style of silver Bali beads which I bought in a job lot from an Indian trader ages ago and have been saving for a special piece such as this one.
I call the earrings below my faux stained glass earrings - they were made by attaching a piece of Japanese rice paper to the back of the earring and colouring it with alcohol ink and many layers of varnish. I made them ages ago, but only just found the time to make them up into earrings with little crystal dangles and ear wires. The paper is translucent although you cannot tell this from the photographs below.
I've had some beautiful micro pave components come through the letterbox and I shall be making some pretties for my Bling! pages next week. I am so looking forward to using these lovely components.
Having put these words down, I'm off to catch the train to Manchester tonight, as I am at interviews all day tomorrow.
That's me for now folks, have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.